Last night, we attended the Taste of Melbourne Gala Night thanks to Hot House Media.  Admittedly, my husband and I don’t usually go out to functions.  Mostly because after a long day’s work, all we really want to do is come home and spend quality time with our super cute kids.  But we decided to call in a babysitting favour with my in-laws and stopped by to check it out.

What is Taste of Melbourne?  It’s a collaboration between the best chefs, restaurants, and fine food & wine purveyors in Melbourne.  Hence you get the opportunity to eat all of your favourite dishes from all of your favourite restaurants at the same venue.  It’s ingenious.  

taste of melbourne-6
We started off at the annual Best in Taste Awards.  The winning dishes of the night were:
1st Place: Pope Joan’s Mr Wilkie – smoked yoghurt, soft serve ice cream, freeze dried raspberries & pistachios
2nd Place: B’Stilla‘s BBQ Octopus, Tahini Remoulade, Herbs – twice cooked octopus, tahini & caper sauce, lemon
3rd Place: Uncle’s Crispy Pigs Ear Banh Mi – with pickles & peanuts
Best Dressed Restaurant: Brooks – this even extended to their Taste of Melbourne stall which featured fresh floral arrangements with stunning pink peonies.

At the awards ceremony, we feasted on some delicious canapés..


Following the ceremony, we hopped to it, and cashed in some money for Crowns – the official Taste of Melbourne currency – where $1 = 1 Crown.  We tried out loads of different dishes with our Crown Card but came home to realise that we had forgotten about Uncle’s crispy pigs ear banh mi!  How devastating.  I guess we’ll have to head to their restaurant in St Kilda one day to check it out.


taste of melbourne-21

MR CLAWS – Lobster Roll – chunky miso wasabi lobster in a soft roll (12 Crowns)
I’m dubious as to whether this was actually worth $12 but the lobster was beautifully cooked, and the brioche roll was toasted and absolutely divine.


taste of melbourne-55
HUXTABURGER – Huxtaburger Jnr – mini wagyu cheese burger (8 Crowns)

Wow.. amazing.  The patty was so tender, the relish was divine and the crunch from the iceberg lettuce was so refreshing tucked within the soft, toasted bun.


taste of melbourne-46
BROOKS – Chicken Liver Parfait Pillows – blackberry jam (6 Crowns)

Oh I just had to.  One of my absolute favourites from Brooks..


taste of melbourne-47
BROOKS – Sher Wagyu F1 Rib – charcoal vegetables, onions and vinegar (12 Crowns)
Obviously not the best wagyu as far as grading goes but the marinade was incredible and it was cooked perfectly so the beef just fell apart.  Mmmm.. so good!


taste of melbourne-25
B’STILLA – BBQ Octopus, Tahini Remoulade, Herbs – twice cooked octopus, tahini & caper sauce, lemon (12 Crowns)

Tender tentacles, beautifully seasoned on finely shredded coleslaw.  Incredible!


taste of melbourne-28
GAZI – Soft Shell Crab Souvlaki – mint, coriander, honey, mayo (12
Gazi had one of the longest lines thanks to this incredible dish.  It was definitely worth the wait and it was, without question, worth the 12 Crowns.  The crab was so delightfully crispy and the sauce.. oh the sauce… it was perfect.


taste of melbourne-63
POPE JOAN – Mr Wilkie – smoked yoghurt soft serve ice cream, freeze dried raspberries & pistachios (6 Crowns) 

This was more ice cream than frozen yoghurt so it was luscious and smooth.  There was a gorgeous raspberry puree through the centre, delectable freeze-dried raspberries that popped in our mouths and a good sprinkle of crushed pistachios on top.  Absolutely wonderful.

Alongside the above offerings and a whole lot more from many other cafes and restaurants around Melbourne, Jacques Reymond was back and showing off his incredible new range of snap frozen gourmet food in the way of free samples.  Everything we tasted from dish’d was amazing.  Apparently all you need is a microwave and an oven and you can warm up anything in his range and eat like a true gourmand every night at home without so much as going to the grocery store.   The food can be delivered to your doorstep in an esky filled with dried ice (just think of the magic tricks to be had!) or picked up from his new store in Prahran.


There were also cooking demonstrations & cooking classes to partake in which looked most interesting.


All in all, my husband and I had a wonderful time at Taste of Melbourne and despite the fact that we had to leave the kids at home last night, it’s actually an extremely family-friendly event and we’re sure they would have loved it – especially our 3-year-old.  Taste of Melbourne is open for lunch and dinner services until Sunday lunch inclusive.  It’s definitely worth checking out..

We had to park miles away – but secretly I was quite pleased about it.. because it meant that I could eat more!

Pelican Lawn, Albert Park
13-16 November 2014

2 Responses

    • Elaine

      Cecylia we had a really great time – first time out at night without the kids too!

      I know right.. Nic Poelart’s food is absolutely dreamy…. :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.